Babies should sleep in the same room as the parents—but on a separate surface—for at least the first six months of life to prevent SIDS, according to a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The policy statement, based on new research, encourages parents to keep their newborn in a crib or bassinet in their room for at least six months—and optimally a year—to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. “Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%,” says a news release from the organization.
The report, published in the November issue of Pediatrics, also supports skin-to-skin care for newborn infants, addresses the use of bedside and in-bed sleepers, and adds to recommendations on how to create a safe-sleep environment, according to the news release.
Infants should be placed on a firm surface without soft bedding, such as pillows, bumper pads, blankets and toys, the release says.